Did you have a nice Valentine's Day? I did. Christian and I are such soul mates that we both got each other red Moleskine notebooks. Does it matter that Christian's electronic "assistant" named Sandy suggested it to him? He also gave me a book about Obama and a book about Hillary. (How do you like the latent sexism of calling her by her first name? It's sort of like how my plumber writes out my receipt to Christian, although he's never met him. He's an awesome plumber so I don't care.) The ironic thing is that Christian's Mitt Romney T-shirt arrived on the same day! If I wait long enough, I'll only have to read one of those books, and it will probably be Obama's. But that is neither here nor there.
My daughter Maggie worked really hard on Valentine's presents for the whole family, but her brothers gave her nothing. She gave Ben a rock shaped like a gun, a paper Nintendo DS, and a paper laptop which opens and has all the keys written on the paper keyboard. It's a thankless job being Ben's sister. But when she grows up and the plumber insists on dealing with her via her husbands' name, it won't phase her at all. She's already used to being a second-class citizen! To mitigate that a little we decided that Christian would give Valentines to the girls and I would give to the boys--or maybe that reinforces it--at any rate, my gifts are usually more thoughtful but Christian spends more money so Maggie gets a good deal. I made the mistake of giving Ben a pink gorilla for Valentine's day. I thought he would dig it in an ironic "I-know-it's-pink-but-I-still-really-like-gorillas-and-it-is-Valentine's-Day-after-all" kind of way. He wont' even touch it.
Valentine's Day used to be so disappointing. I always thought someone would tell me they loved me through the valentines we passed out at school. I never told anyone I loved them through a valentine so I don't know why I thought something special would happen. I also remember preparing for the night kind of like you would for trick-or-treaters--like you had to be there to answer the door when all the valentines came in. None ever came.
My oldest son had refused to buy valentines at the grocery store because none of them were cool. He insisted he would make his own. Late the night before the big day he drew a skinny heart in the middle of a white sheet of paper and wrote, "This valintine is from Sam. And this valintine is for ___________. So, happy Valintine's day." He copied it off 36 times, filled in the names of his classmates, and was all set to cut out the hearts when I put the kibosh on his project. It was getting way too late, after all. It was a scene, man. I was mad that he hadn't just bought valentines and he was mad that they weren't turning out how he had hoped. Of course after I sent him to bed I read blogs where all the good moms had posted pictures of the Valentines they had worked on all day for/with their kids. Oh--So that's what all of us good moms are doing!
On Valentine's Day I "helped with" the party in Maggie's class. My contribution basically consisted of picking up 4 packs of sour cherry balls at Maverick, eating some Granny B's cookies while the kids frosted and decorated, and taking my leave a little early with a screaming baby. "That's it for me. . . I'm out of here!" I like to break the ice by being the first mom to eat the refreshments that are there for the kids. In this case, none of the other moms ever really came around. Later my kids pored over their valentines, looking for significance. "This one says Happy Valentine's Day sweetheart," read Sam. "Oh wait. It's from Josh."